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Leahy announces hearings on Bush investigations set for next Wednesday.

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"Leahy announces hearings on Bush investigations set for next Wednesday."

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Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) reiterated his call to hold a truth commission to investigate Bush wrongdoings, and announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee would hold hearings on the matter next Wednesday. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) rose after Leahy to support the call for investigations into “this past carnival of folly, greed, lies, and wrongdoing.” “If we blind ourselves to this history, we deny ouselves its lessons,” he said, warning that such an investigation will not be comfortable or easy:

WHITEHOUSE: We are optimists, we Americans. We are proud of our country. Contrition comes hard to us. But the path back from the dark side may lead us down some unfamiliar valleys of remorse and repugnance before we can return to the light. We may have to face our fellow Americans saying to us, “No. Please. Tell us that we did not do that. Tell us that American did not do that.” And we will have to explain, somehow. This is no small thing. And not easy. This will not be comfortable, or proud. But somehow, it must be done.

Watch it:

A recent poll found that a large majority — more than 60 percent — of Americans favors investigations into Bush wrongdoings, including warrantless wiretapping and torture. (Read Leahy’s full remarks are here, and read Whitehouse’s full speech here or watch it here.)

Transcript:

LEAHY: The citizens of this country have said we should have change. And we should. But we also know the past can be prologue for the future unless we set things right. [...]

My proposal for a commission would address the rest of the picture, which is to understand how these types of policies were formed and exercised. I do this to make sure the mistakes are not repeated. [...]

The determination to look beyond the vale that so carefully concealed the decision-making in these areas is growing. And next Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to explore these ideas, and to continue the conversation about what we can do moving forward. [...]

WHITEHOUSE: We have to learn the lessons from this past carnival of folly, greed, lies, and wrongdoing so that teh damage can, under democratic process, be pointed out and corrected. If we blind ourselves to this history, we deny ourselves its lessons — lessons that came at too painful a cost to ignore. THOSE lessons merit disclosure and discussion. indeed, disclosure and discussion make the difference between this history being a valuable lesson for the bright and upward forces of our democracy or a blueprint for those darker forces to return and someday do it all over again. [...]

We also have to brace ourselves for the realistic possibility that as some of this conduct is exposed, we and the world will find it shameful, revolting. We may have to face the prospect at looking with horror at our own country’s deeds. We are optimists, we Americans. We are proud of our country. Contrition comes hard to us. But the path back from the dark side may lead us down some unfamiliar valleys of remorse and repugnance before we can return to the light. We may have to face our fellow Americans saying to us, “No. Please. Tell us that we did not do that. Tell us that American did not do that.” And we will have to explain, somehow. This is no small thing. And not easy. This will not be comfortable, or proud. But somehow, it must be done.

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